The Raptors looked mortal last night — that’s the truth of it. The defense couldn’t quite keep up, in the halfcourt or transition. The offense did what it was supposed to do, except hit enough shots. And sure, there were obvious excuses for Toronto’s failure — no Kawhi Leonard, OG Anunoby, or Fred VanVleet; Delon Wright not in rhythm; the Bucks catching on unholy fire — but still, you hate to see it.
(For my part, I spent the day trolling Bucks fans, who should be very happy about their legitimately fearsome team. Enjoy Giannis, guys, and try not to take everything so personally. Believe me, a Raptors fan: all other ways lead to ruin.)
Of course in the NBA, there are no days off, win or lose. The Raptors hopped on a flight last night to return home to Toronto. They’re here now, with us at Scotiabank Arena, to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. This is a team that wants very much to jump all over their opponents — they’ve got size, power, and speed (though not a ton of shooting, unlike last night’s Bucks). Toronto is still down again both OG and VanVleet, and will need to be sharp to avoid their first losing streak of the season. To his credit, before the game Sixers coach Brett Brown called the Raptors “east coast royalty” and meant it. He’s not taking Toronto lightly.
At least the pressure of invincibility is off the Raptors. They can’t hope to regain their mortality now, not after a loss like Monday night’s; but they sure as hell can fight to make themselves tougher to bury.
We’ve got your full Raptors-Sixers preview here, care of Josh Kern. Below are the updated details. Now, let’s watch.
Where to Watch:
TSN, 7:30pm EST
Toronto — Kyle Lowry, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka
Philadelphia — Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz
Toronto — Fred VanVleet (toe - out), OG Anunoby (personal - out)
Philadelphia — Jerryd Bayless (knee - out), Wilson Chandler (hamstring - out), Zhaire Smith (foot - out)